Bridge Between Cultures

Council will mark Cultural Diversity Week with a community celebration in Knoxfield on Saturday 23 March.

The number of Knox residents born overseas has increased from a quarter to a third over the last 20 years, and almost a third of people speak a language other than English at home.

We come from nearly 160 different countries and speak more than 130 languages.

The top 10 countries of birth are China, United Kingdom, India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Philippines, Vietnam and Italy.

The top 10 non-English languages spoken at home are Mandarin, Cantonese, Sinhalese, Greek, Hindi, Tamil, Italian, Vietnamese, Arabic and Persian.

Boronia resident Ruchi Sharma says it’s vital for a community to be inclusive and diverse.

“It makes you feel accepted, that you are a part of this country,” she says. “Isn’t it good for a landscape of any community when people feel celebrated, when they feel ownership, when they are a part of it. When we talk about harmony, it’s for every living being, it’s for everyone.

“We are thriving, we are actively participating and we are bringing that cultural richness to our wider community.”

Ruchi is secretary of the Australia India Society of Victoria, based in Scoresby, which this year celebrates its 60th anniversary. She has joined the Knox Multicultural Advisory Committee, advising Council on multicultural issues and promoting cultural diversity.

“When I moved into Knox, I’d been into several neighbourhood houses with my voluntary work and I saw that Council has so much to offer and my community was not aware of it,” Ruchi says.

“I didn’t see much of the CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) community going to the neighbourhood houses.

“So, then I started talking to my community about what’s happening. I felt there was a need to build a bridge between the two, letting people see this side of the Council and that their communities are being served and taken good care of, especially the elderly people and also those with disability.

“I want my community to know that there are so many services offered by the Council and it is open to everyone. Moreover, our Knox Council is open to listen and support whatever is reasonably necessary to build up the confidence in CALD communities.”

Join our community celebration on Saturday 23 March from 12pm-4pm at Carrington Park in Knoxfield.

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